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The Language of Kindness

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by David Vincent (subscribe)
Occasional blogger and sometimes freelance writer, hammering away in the West Midlands.
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A joy-filled stage production
nurses, nhs, the language of kindness
Wayward productions: The Language Of Kindness

Live performances are returning to Coventry's Warwick Arts Centre from May 20-22 thanks to a socially distanced, COVID safe adaptation of The Language Of Kindness.

Produced by Wayward Productions, The Language of Kindness is based on the best-selling memoir of nurse-turned-author Christie Watson.

Christie spent 20 years working as a nurse in the NHS and her non-fiction hit recalls the highs and lows of life on the frontline of care, from life to death. Originally scheduled for 2020, the new production now receives its UK premiere at Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry, from Thursday 20 to Saturday 22 May 2021 - the first week indoor performances are allowed in England as restrictions ease.

With tickets available for small groups/bubbles, it's the first show at the venue in over a year after it closed due to the pandemic. COVID measures will be in place for the four-performance/three-day run, which includes no intervals and no late admittance.

The cast is also maintaining a distance too. Taking a unique approach to adapting Christie's book, the work is described as "an ensemble-style piece of dance theatre: a joy-filled celebration of nurses and front-line healthcare workers."

christie watson, nurse
Costa Award-winning author and nurse Christie Watson. Credit SGB Photography

Discussing the production, Christie says: "Nurses give their soul to help sick people every day: working 14-hour days without eating or drinking because there is no time – not even to use the toilet. Nurses are using foodbanks. Nurses are homeless. Nurses now have the highest occupational suicide rate. Nurses do not have time to give the kindness, care and compassion that people so desperately need, but they find it anyhow. Compassion is the only thing that can save us – remind us who we are, or at least who we are meant to be. We will all be nursed at some stage in our lives. Every single one of us. We need our nurses."

Directed by Sasha Milavic Davies (Movement Direction: The Antipodes, NT; Berberian Sound Studio, Donmar Warehouse) and James Yeatman (There Is A Light That Never Goes Out: Scenes From the Luddite Rebellion, Royal Exchange Theatre; Dinomania, New Diorama Theatre), the production features sound design by Gareth Fry (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child; The Encounter, Complicité) and set and costume by Zoë Hurwitz (Living Newspaper, Royal Court Theatre; We Anchor in Hope, Bunker Theatre).

The ensemble cast includes Tina Chiang (Rocks; Chimerica), Etta Fusi (Cannibals, Royal Exchange Theatre; Carnival of Souls, HOME MCR), Tamzin Griffin (Dad's Army; The ABC Murders), Keziah Joseph (The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, Bridge Theatre; Mr Gum and the Dancing Bear, National Theatre), Clive Mendus (Lionboy, Complicité; Othello, RSC) and Harriet Webb (It's True, It's True, It's True; I May Destroy You).

Tickets are available now, with a limited number of £5 tickets available for NHS workers.

Christie Watson will also be giving a post-show talk on opening night.

For more information and tickets, see:

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Why? Theatre is back!
When: Thu-Sat 7.30pm, Sat 2.30pm
Phone: 024 7652 4524
Where: Warwick Arts Centre, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL
Cost: £20 (£15 conc)/ £5 (NHS).
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